Further ‘shake-up ‘of Permitted Development rules splits opinions!

There’s news regarding Permitted Development rules this month for those seeking to improve and extend their home during the rest this year and going forward for the future . We, at Mint Builders, accept this particular news is likely to be met with considerable enthusiasm by many home-owners across Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, following the dreaded ‘lockdown’ we all suffered in the early Spring this year.

We at Mint were kept busy during this strange ‘lockdown-time’ carrying out certain ‘fire-fighting’ refurb home planning and extension activities right through the Spring and into the Summer as homeowners slowly ‘struck out’ to improve things at home, at least a little, as the lockdown went on and on… and on……

permitted development

Now comes the news that from this month, under new Permitted Development rules being brought in, two-Storey Extensions on Homes can be ‘Fast-Tracked’ in terms of planning requirements . As the team at www.homebuilding.co.uk report, this announcement that Permitted Development rights will extend, is deemed to be ‘hugely significant’ for many home-owners.

additional storeys

The situation is that Permitted Development rights will be extended to enable homeowners to add up to two additional storeys to their home through a ‘fast-track planning approval process. This has now been officially confirmed by the Government.

extension ‘appearance’

These new rules aim to help homeowners gain more living space – with a requirement to carefully consider the appearance of the extension and how the building could impact neighbours. This widely-expected announcement follows on from an update to the Permitted Development regulations and rules in June, which will also allow two-storey ‘upwards’ extensions to blocks of flats.

significant

As the Homebuilding team report, “This is extremely significant news for homeowners. However, while on the one hand, this is positive for extenders who want to extend up and support a growing family, concerns have been raised about the aesthetic impact of these extensions, giving neighbours fewer means to challenge such developments.

fast-track

They point out that the details of the ‘fast-track’ system have not yet been expanded upon, and it is unclear whether the extensions will be allowed under a prior approval before work can commence. This is a formal submission to a local planning authority to seek confirmation that specified parts of a development are acceptable.

not required

These new rules will also mean full planning applications will not be required by developers to demolish and re-build unused buildings. This is a change, which will, the Government hopes, aid High Streets and Town Centres by providing more space for new businesses

planning ‘red tape’

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said earlier this year that he wanted to throw out the planning ‘red tape’ to deliver much-needed new homes across England, something he said at various times, as the tighter lockdown began to ease some eight weeks or so ago. Mr Jenrick has, reports homebuilding.co.uk, said: “We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy, in order to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our Town Centres with new enterprises and more vital housing.

add two storeys

These changes will help transform ‘boarded up’, unused buildings safely into high quality homes at the heart of their communities. It will mean that families can add up to two storeys to their own homes, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.”

blunt tool

All fair enough, but as we at Mint have found, in talks with certain of our Architect and Planning colleagues, there is also very much a view that permitted development can be a somewhat ‘blunt tool’, at the best of times. Certain suggestions are that these changes will, in fact, make our High Streets even bleaker…. never mind improving them!

significant impact

Reports www.homebuilding.co.uk “The idea also, that we can build additional storeys on top of our homes is also worrying. There are very few locations where this wouldn’t significantly impact on neighbouring ameniies. It could also change the character of streets overnight”.

disaster

Planners, they say, struggle to maintain Architectural quality at the moment anyway and with stretched budgets and relaxed rules this is a disaster in terms of maintaining quality in our built environment. Also, these new extension moves has been called “disgraceful” by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), which says the whole approach could be damaging indeed for the planning system.

disgraceful

Alan Jones, president of RIBA, said: “The extension of this policy is truly disgraceful. There is no evidence that the planning system is to blame for the shortage of housing, and plenty to suggest that leaving local communities powerless in the face of developers seeking short-term returns, will lead to poor results. This extension of PDR is not just damaging – it’s a missed opportunity.”

For refurbishment, improvement and extension of your home, going forward into this Autumn, and on into 2021, we at Mint Builders can offer a full development and finishing service to add value and better post-lockdown ‘liveability’ space to your home. We are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have. We have all the expert contacts on hand to help you gain the changes at home you now need.

Please request your project planning and quotation visit to improve, refurbish or extend your home for the future. Contact Mint Builders on 01242 279739 or email simon@mintbuilders.co.uk